E-Payment (e-Pay) Guidelines

Owner: Financial Services   
Date: September 2012 

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E-Payment is the University at Buffalo’s method for departments to accept credit card (MasterCard, Visa and Discover) and ACH (electronic check) payments for state financial transactions via the Web.  

The university uses a single gateway, Nelnet Business Solutions, which facilitates the acceptance of real time and non-real time transactions, utilizing the VITAL processing network for the settlement of funds into the appropriate University at Buffalo accounts. Departments are required to utilize this gateway when accepting state financial transactions over the Internet.

Transaction Flow

A unique link is created through the e-Pay application process and placed on a department's website (a separate link exists for each payment type the department collects), transferring payees to the secure payment screen for that particular payment type.

Once on the payment page payees, are directed to enter pertinent information based on the type of payment (name, address, credit card number, expiration date, bank account number, bank routing number) as well as any other information the department wishes to collect. Once information is entered, the payee is directed to click the submit button.

Internally, a check is done verifying the completion of all required fields. Utilizing the Vital processing network, a payment verification check is performed on credit card payments to ensure the cardholder name, credit card number and expiration date is valid.

After the transaction has been authorized the payee receives a receipt, which includes a payment confirmation number as well as any other text the department elects to display. If the transaction is not authorized the payee receives an error message defining the problem.

ACH Payments are initially authorized and are then reviewed by the payee’s bank to verify the information provided is correct (usually a 2-3 day process). The payment will be returned if found to be invalid (wrong account number, insufficient funds) and Financial Services will notify the corresponding department so they can contact the payee to make other payment arrangements.

Departments are not required to complete Cash Receipt Transmittals for e-Pay transactions. A file is
transmitted from the e-Payment application to the university’s general ledger on a daily basis for bank reconciliation purposes and posted to departmental accounts every 15 days.

For each payment collected, a summarized deposit entry is recorded for each day within the 15 day cycle, when applicable. Utilizing the e-Payment Transaction Viewer, departments are given the option of reviewing the individual payments comprising the daily, summarized deposits for a particular day or a range of dates.

Departments electing to receive data electronically, for update of subsidiary records, are responsible for providing the additional programming required. If the department will need additional programming resources a project charter must be attached to the e-Payment application detailing the additional programming required and integration issues for the e-Payment application.

Contact an Expert

Erin Guiffrida

IFR, Revenue Accounting and Treasury Management

Financial Management

Phone: 716-645-2601

Email: erinhunt@buffalo.edu

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